Saturday, August 21, 2010

The reading continues as the Summer heads into the dog days!

 Where has this summer gone!?  It has been so hot maybe the sun has melted the days away.  I don't know about you but one of my favorite ways to stay cool is floating in a pool. I don't have a big pool.  I have  a baby pool that I fill up with cold water.  I set up a little table next to me with the radio, cold cocktail, sunscreen and maybe a snack then I grab a book and just soak away the heat and read away my troubles.  I like to call it my backyard Riviera.  Things always look brighter after and nice dip in the pool.  Here are some of the books that   have joined me at the pool:

Caught by Harlan Coben:    "Holy Who Dunnit Batman!"   He is the master of plot twisting.  This story had more false endings than Lady GaGa has costumes.  A man is entrapped by a reality news show crew and is arrested for solicitation of a minor and branded as a sexual predator.  He claims his innocence but the circumstantial evidence is really stacked against him.  A girl goes missing.  There seems to be a connection.  Someone is shot, someone else dies.  Innocents are accused while the guilty seem to escape. Nothing is as it seems and the story goes on and on and on and on.  Just as one plot seems to get wrapped up and done the page turns and so does the story.  Suddenly what just seemed cut and dry looks like a murky mess.  I don't think Harlan's hairdresser would even know for sure.  When I got to the last page I wasn't sure I believed it was really over.  I was exhausted and I was grinning.  I love a good roller coaster!  Interesting side note:  Since many of the Myron Bolitar characters show up in the stand alone novels will they eventually all end up as one Huge series about New Jersey crazies?  Now wouldn't that be an interesting twist.

The Kill Artist (Gabriel Allon Novels)The Kill Artist by Daniel Silva:   It has been a long time since I read an espionage novel.  To be honest I have veered away from anything that has to do with terrorism or disasters since 9/11 then Katrina.  I don't want to fill my head with ugly possibilities.  With that said I noticed several people at work were all reading a series by Danial Silva.  It is about a reluctant Israeli assassin named Gabriel Allon.  The Kill Artist is the first book in the series and it was good if not terribly original.  Two great assassins on opposite sides of a cause clash for one more life or death intrigue.  What separates Gabriel Allon from James Bond or even Jason Bourne is his soul.  He really is a reluctant assassin.  He learned to become an art restorer as a cover in his work for the Israeli Secret Service and it turned out he was really good at it.  In fact it is the restoration work that keeps him going in the aftermath of the tragic and violent deaths of his wife and son.  Now his old boss is back and wants Gabriel to come back for one last mission which will pit him against the man who killed his family.  In the classic styles of Ludlum and LeCarre Mr. Silva has created a believable and flawed hero who battles the foes within as much as the enemy without.  I know why everybody is reading this series and I intend to do the same.

Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning ThiefThe Lightening Thief by Rick Riordan:   Awesome, fun and an exciting adventure.  Percy Jackson has always been different.  His teachers said he was ADD and dyslexic.  Who knew he was the son of a God?  The Gods did and so did the monsters.  From the first page to the last this story is jam packed with action and adventure.  What starts out as a mom and son trip turns into a Grand Quest with Furies, Minotaurs, Nymphs, Nyads, Gods and Demi-Gods. At the last winter solstice someone stole Zeus' property and Poseidon gets accused.  Unbeknown to Percy Poseidon is his dad.  The disastrous and fatal trip to the beach with his mom lands Percy at Half Blood Camp where he not only discovers who is dad is but he is sent on a Quest on dad's behalf.   Percy has to recover Zeus' Lightening Bolt in order to save his mom and prevent the Gods from going to war.  Percy is going to discover through this journey not is all as it seems.  He is going to have to look above and below to discover who is real friends are but more importantly who he really is.  This is an excellent story along the lines of Charlie Bone and Harry Potter.  The kids should love Percy, I know I do!

From Hell With Love: A Secret Histories NovelFrom Hell With Love by Simon R. Green:  Oh Mr. Green!  Where would the world be without the Droods?!  Probably in another dimension and be slaves of an evil crazy mad scientist emperor.  Yuck!  Eddie Drood is back with Molly Metcalf and all the Drood Family to once again protect us unwitting humans from disaster and utter annihilation.   I am amazed this series hasn't been made into a comic or a 1 hour tv show on SyFy.  Mr. Green knows how to verbally draw clean clear characters and then he takes them and twists them all up in the craziest stories!  This time Drood Hall has been invaded by another Secret Super Family called The Immortals.  Don't let the label fool you, they can die it just takes a lot to do.  The thing is the Immortals have mastered shape-shifting and have infiltrated the Droods from within.  Someone has killed the Matriarch and it is a total surprise at the end to find out who did it.  Meanwhile,  Doctor Delirium is back and has teamed up with a rogue Drood by the name of Tiger Tim.   They have come up with a wacky and villainous plan to hold the world hostage. The Apocolypse Door will open the gates to Hell and we will be overrun with the depths of Hades to be eternally tortured.  If the governments don't do as they say they will open the door.  Eddie has to stop them before its too late.  Some people die.  Some people just pretend to be dead while a whole other group have always been dead.  The Armorer has some great new gadgets and weapons for Eddie to use against the bad guys.  Eddie and Molly stick together through thick and thin to bring Dr. Delirium to heel and really kill the Immortals.  All ends well for awhile.  I can't wait to see what the next super villain does and what the Droods do to him!

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